As Bronwyn reined the horse into the fading evening light, Isla snuggled into his back. He smelt of sweat and dirt, but a more wonderful odour at this moment she couldn’t imagine. His scent soothed her. Beside him, she felt home, no matter where they travelled. He was her hero, and nothing and no one could change that. ~ snippet from Shadows in the Stone
There are days when I am starving for a hero. When life gets dull and dreary I wish a hero would ride in, scoop me up and take me on a wild journey into the unknown where danger lurks in the shadows and magic fills the air with adventure. I want him to take me where survival balances on knowledge and skill, where just on the brink of disaster, he saves the day.
On a journey like this, which turns a life upside down, I don’t expect to stay clean; I want to get dirty and sweaty and shed a little blood and tear. It’s the only way to make the quest worthwhile; the only way to enjoy it.
But where did all the heroes go? Were they there to begin with? Of course, they were. They rode in on dilapidated horses, sailed in on leaky boats and walked in wearing no shoes. Heroes came and changed the lives of at least one person then sometimes left without a forwarding address.
Heroes belong to no specific sex, social class or ethnic group. They are simply those who rise above the rest and do what’s right regardless of the danger they expose themselves to. Sometimes heroes are bigger than life, but sometimes they are the ones least expected to possess courage.
Heroes were once plentiful. Every day a Spiderman, an Indiana Jones or a John Wayne made an impression on people, young and old. They were honourable, worthy of admiration and loyal to their cause. Now…I’m not so sure people believe in heroes, so they don’t write about them, create them like they did years ago.
I haven’t met a good, dependable hero to admire in a long time, one that made me jump up and shout, “Yeah! That’s how you do it!” One that long after the book or movie ends, I can’t help but think about, and in some ways try to recreate that goodness in my own life.
Now that’s a hero.
… The horse. Here is nobility without conceit, friendship without envy, beauty without vanity. A willing servant, yet never a slave. ~ Ronald Duncan